World News Briefs July 2008

China

Quake Destroys Adventist Churches

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake in May in central China has claimed more than 15,000 lives, including several Adventists. The director of the Chinese Union Mission reported eight Adventist churches destroyed in the quake. However, members resumed worship service the following Sabbath and are working to distribute aid supplies.

SOURCE: Adventist News Network

Iraq

President Affirms Christian Presence

Jalal Talabani, Iraqi president, recently invited Adventist and other Christian leaders to a formal dinner to affirm their role in the nation’s history and heritage. He acknowledged Christians as some of Iraq’s first inhabitants and encouraged them to remain in the country during this difficult time. Talabani also listened to the needs and concerns of the Christian leaders, promising to personally follow up on the issues raised. There are 171 Adventists in Iraq worshipping in three churches.

SOURCE: Adventist News Network

Jamaica

Pastors Called to Train as Drug Counselors

Jamaica’s National Council on Drug Abuse is calling Adventist churches to become counseling centers as the nation faces continued social problems. The NCDA suggests a three-day training session for pastors, focusing on addiction counseling. Recent studies revealed as many as 33 percent of Jamaican students have used alcohol before age 10. There are more than 200,000 Adventists in Jamaica, representing nearly one out every 12 people in the country.

SOURCE: Adventist News Network

Philippines

New Resources for Mobile Ministry

Adventists in the Philippines are working with a major telecommunications provider to create a cell phone chip with unique Adventist resources. The Subscriber Identity Module is a card which contains a mobile phone user’s subscription information, contacts, text messages and other data. The Adventist SIM cards would come pre-loaded with Bible verses, daily prayer requests, Bible trivia, a listing of Adventist churches in metropolitan cities and a list of the church’s core beliefs. The Adventist communication director in the Philippines estimates 100,000 of the SIM cards will be distributed by 2009.

SOURCE: Adventist News Network

Wisconsin

Student Failed for Religious Art

The Tomah School District formally agreed to allow religious expression in student artwork to settle a federal lawsuit. The legal action stemmed from a student receiving a zero on a drawing assignment that included a cross and the words “John 3:16 A sign of Love.” The teacher cited a class policy that prohibited depictions of religious beliefs, as well as blood, sex or violence. The district has amended this policy, and the student will now receive a grade for his assignment.

SOURCE: Associated Press

Belgium

EU Urges Religious Freedom in Iran

The European Union is urging Iran to release six members of the Baha’i faith who were imprisoned on security-related charges. Baha’i believe in the spiritual unity of all mankind, but Iran’s Shi’ite religious establishment considers the religion a heretical offshoot of Islam. EU officials worry the recent arrests represent a shift by Tehran to repress freedom of religion.

SOURCE: Reuters

New Zealand

Prayers Answered With a Sign

Two pilots are thankful to be alive after what seemed like a literal answer to prayer. During a recent flight their ultralight airplane ran out of fuel. Both men immediately prayed God would provide them with a safe site for an emergency landing. As they glided over a ridge the men spotted an airfield and brought the aircraft down. It came to rest near a 20-foot-tall sign that read “Jesus is Lord —The Bible.”

SOURCE: Associated Press

July 01, 2008 / World Church
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